Cupid's Pulse Article: Author Roy Sheppard Bridges the Gap Between Mothers and Daughters In His New BookCupid's Pulse Article: Author Roy Sheppard Bridges the Gap Between Mothers and Daughters In His New Book

By Andrea Surujnauth

Growing up in today’s society is full of challenges, especially for teenage girls. They tend to forget, though, that their mothers went through similar difficulties when they were young. In his new book, Dear Daughter: what I wish I’d known at your age, author Roy Sheppard hopes to connect mothers and daughters, revealing their similarities and making communication easier.

Drawing on his experiences as a psychotherapist, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner, journalist and relationship expert, he reaches out to everyday mothers and gives young women helpful advice about topics ranging from financial issues to boy problems. These words of wisdom come straight from the hearts of moms who want to help their daughters grow but have a hard time reaching out to them. Here, chats with Sheppard about his varied career path, his inspiration for his new book and his advice for girls as they search for love.

You used to be a reporter for British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), and then, you became a hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner. What influenced you to make such a big change?

My proper job is interviewing people, so after I spent years working at BBC, mainly doing live reporting, I switched to the conference industry and interviewed executives. I wanted to be a much more effective journalist, not just talking about data and information. I wanted to be more insightful, so that’s the actual reason I trained to be a hypnotherapist, which might sound a bit bizarre. As a therapist, you’re taught to notice more details, and as a hypnotherapist, it’s almost a forensic understanding of how people think, how they perceive the world. So when you can tap into that ability, your interviewing becomes so much more perceptive. It totally changed my life.

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Once in the therapy field, you focused on relationships. What drew you specifically to relationship coaching?

I wanted to write about relationships but with a different spin on them. I found that most relationship writing is by women, for women. As a man, I have a different perspective. I always make sure that I make it very clear that I have a male point of view. If women are open-minded, when they read my writing, they get a perspective that they won’t get from a female writer. So the big thing that I try to do is bring men and women together; I want to be able to help them understand each other better.

Let’s talk about your new book, Dear Daughter. What inspired you to write a self-help book for young women?

I wanted to write something that would be relevant for young people today. I realized very quickly that you can’t do it in one book, so I decided to split it up: Dear Son, which was published late last year, and Dear Daughter. Dear Daughter is about 15 percent longer – there’s more information that girls need to know! I had the most fantastic conversations with women, talking about stuff that they wouldn’t normally talk about with a man. I felt very privileged.

You include a lot about relationships, and you discuss why it’s unwise for women to overanalyze men. Why is this a bad habit to develop?

I just don’t think that it’s a productive use of your time and energy. There are two types of men: good guys and bad guys. Most men are actually straightforward, and if they say one thing, they mean that. Men are not as complicated or Machiavellian as women. We both know that there are some women who are extremely calculating and who behave atrociously to other women, but men don’t do that. Because women think in this way, it’s easy for them wrongly apply the same sophisticated analysis to a man as they would to a woman.

We’ve all heard of the book He’s Just Not That Into You. How can a woman tell if a man is into her?

He calls. It really is that simple. A man will find any excuse to talk to a woman if he likes her.

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What would you say are some of the most important things that women should do when looking for Mr. Right?

Don’t look for Mr. Right! Just be somebody who, if Mr. Right comes along, he decides to stop. If you focus on being a special person for yourself first, that makes a huge difference.

I think dating is the new addiction. It’s so easy to date. But I genuinely believe that, if you put energy into being a decent human being, it makes the process so much easier. As a therapist, the biggest problem I see is that people – women in particular – create a fantasy figure in their head. They compare Mr. Perfect to the man in their life, but no person will ever live up to that fantasy figure. Why? Because that fantasy figure doesn’t exist. Focus more on enjoying your partner and accept that your differences actually add richness to your relationship.

Do you feel that daughters who are close with their mothers have a better chance at finding a healthy relationship? If so, why?

I definitely agree with that. I hope that my Dear Daughter and Dear Son books can be something that parents give to their kids and say, “Look, I know you don’t want to talk to me about a lot of this stuff, but read this book. Afterwards, if there’s anything that you want to talk about, please do.” A number of friends of mine who have teenage daughters were reading the manuscript separately from each other, and they all asked if they could share it with their daughter. Every single time they did, they had the most amazing conversations. It brought new topics into the open, and they talked about some really important things.

And finally, if you had one piece of advice that you would give to our readers, what would it be?

Of course, I want them to read the book!

In the introduction, I say that I want to build a bridge between parents and young people. Remember that a bridge is built from both sides. Even though you may believe that adults have no idea what it’s like to be you, listen to them a little bit more. Before you decide that somebody’s wrong, just be silent and think about what they’re saying. If you decide later that they’re wrong, that’s fine, but don’t let “no” be your knee-jerk reaction to everything.

The book is now available from Kobo as an e-book. You can currently purchase a copy of Dear Daughter from, and it will be more widely available on July 8, 2013. For more information about Sheppard, please visit or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.